Thousands of local High School students are graduating over the next few days. As they hit the road to celebrate and begin their new lives we're kicking off a new campaign called "Don't Text and Drive." This should be a happy time. But a Brockport family knows everything can change with one little distraction.
Kris Cyr is a Brockport High School Science Teacher, a mother and a passionate supporter of a ban on texting while driving. She never got to see her daughter graduate. "I was able to receive her diploma. I went up on stage and got her diploma."
Shawna Cyr was killed not far from her home. It was a couPle months before her High School graduation in 2006. She had been to two parties that night, she wasn't wearing a seatbelt and she was texting and driving at the time."
The cell phone Shawna was using was returned to her family in an evidence bag. Now part of the memories of a life lost too soon. Kris says she did everything wrong.
Shawna's Father Mark is a retired Brockport Police Officer. Longtime family friend Sgt. Adam Mesiti saw Shawna grow up and watched her die that night. "It was almost like it wasn't real. And then the hardest part having to notify the family and face the family after that it's unexplainable."
Sgt. Mesiti He says ALL the research shows distracted driving is as dangerous as drunk driving and more people do it. "The pain that you can cause yourself if you get into an accident and get hurt. the pain you can cause your family if you hurt somebody else. And if you do end up hurting somebody else the potential you're going to end up charged criminally and end up going to jail because you had to answer a text, it's just not worth it."
Kris wants everyone to hear her family's heartbreaking story. The message: Don't forget what Shawna did to her loved ones. "This is how your family will feel when you don't come home that night."
Kris says her family has learned a valuable lesson about what's really important in life. But it's not worth the price they paid.
As part of our campaign we're asking viewers to take a Family Pledge to not text and drive. Please enter your name and print the pledge. You'll find great information to start a family conversation about the dangers of distracted driving.